The 2020 Toyota C-HR on test for Changing Lanes!

Toyota C-HR Hybrid Review (2020)

The 2020 Toyota C-HR on test for Changing Lanes!
The 2020 Toyota C-HR on test for Changing Lanes!

Read Caroline's Toyota C-HR review for everything you need to know about buying Toyota's popular hybrid compact SUV in Ireland.

What's so special about the Toyota C-HR Hybrid?

The Toyota C-HR marked a turning point for the Toyota brand when it was first launched back in 2016. The coupé crossover heralded the arrival of a new generation of Toyota cars built upon the TNGA platform, with more dynamism and style.

The C-HR was a dramatic departure in styling for the brand, and continues to command attention on Irish roads. Now it’s the turn of the 2020 model, mildly facelifted for this model year and also introducing some new features and powertrain options.

The  Toyota C-HR has been a huge success in Ireland and is now the Japanese brand’s 2nd bestselling model in Ireland after the new Toyota Corolla. Priced from €30,370, the C-HR has moved up a gear in 2020 and is now exclusively sold as a hybrid.

However Toyota has also widened the range with the arrival of a new 2.0-litre hybrid powertrain. It offers even more performance than the 1.8-litre hybrid version that helped the C-HR to establish itself in Ireland over the last four years.

The C-HR is now available with a 2.0-litre hybrid powertrain with more power and performance
The C-HR is now available with a 2.0-litre hybrid powertrain with more power and performance

What's new for the C-HR?

The C-HR’s dramatic coupe-like styling and crossover stance remain a stand out feature. For 2020 there is new LED technology in the headlights and rear lights, with the daytime running lights (DRLs) and indicators combined into one frontal projector emitting a single smooth line above the main beam. At the rear, the new combi lamps are connected by a new gloss black spoiler.

There are four trim levels – Luna, Sport, Luna Sport and Sol – with varying levels of bling applied to the car depending on trim level, from different alloy wheel designs to the bi tone roof option. My test car was the Launch Edition finished in exclusive metallic orange and shod with black, 10 spoke 18” alloy wheels.

Inside, Toyota has trimmed the interior with some new fabrics and materials for the 2020 model year. However the cabin remains stylish and contemporary with an intriguing diamond motif theme throughout. It appears in for example the shape of the control buttons for the media system, and even as an embedded pattern in the roof of the car.

The interior of the 2020 Toyota C-HR
The interior of the 2020 Toyota C-HR

Behind the wheel

The driving position in the C-HR is very comfortable, with plenty of adjustment in the seat. There is some elevation to it though overall the driver feels very snug and cosseted in the seat, like a hatchback, as opposed to feeling perched upon the vehicle.

Apple Car Play and Android Auto are now available and there is a large touchscreen as standard. Material quality is good inside with our Launch Edition model getting some black perforated leather trim with diamond pattern and dark brown upper dashboard area.

Other equipment highlights include Toyota Safety Sense suite of safety equipment including traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert and blind spot monitor, JBL premium sound system, dual zone climate control, cruise control, ambient lights, parking camera and heated front seats.

The C-HR will seat five with reasonable space for rear occupants. The beautiful coupe style on the outside means that the rear can be quite dark for passengers but there is competitive legroom. A powered tailgate is available and the boot has a capacity of 377 litres.

The 2020 Toyota C-HR is available from €30,370
The 2020 Toyota C-HR is available from €30,370

Tell us about the hybrid

The 1.8-litre hybrid (122hp) is now joined by a higher powered 2.0-litre hybrid with 184hp in the 2020 Toyota C-HR. Fuel consumption is quoted as low as 4.8 litres per 100 km in the entry level 1.8-litre hybrid C-HR. On test, we drove the Launch Edition sold exclusively with the more performance oriented 2.0-litre hybrid.

On the road the Toyota C-HR 2.0-litre hybrid feels robust and well balanced in terms of power and its delivery through a CVT automatic gearbox. Refinement has been improved with less interruption from the CVT gearbox to ensure a smooth, calm and quiet presence in the cabin. At low speeds in town for example or when parking, the electrical assistance kicks in ensuring that overall, we returned an impressive 5.5 litres per 100 km on our test drive.

Toyota has made some dynamic upgrades for 2020 include a modified EPS tuning for improved steering feel. The 2.0-litre hybrid also gets a new suspension design that improves ride comfort while retaining the Toyota C-HR’s handling capabilities. All variants also feature an upgraded Noise Vibration Harshness (NVH) pack to further reduce cabin noise.

As a result the C-HR is comfortable to drive on the road and one of the brand’s most premium vehicles in terms of behaviour. It’s competent on the road and in this class of vehicle it feels responsive and agile in terms of controls and how it responds to driver inputs.

Toyota has considerable experience in hybrid and it shows in the C-HR
Toyota has considerable experience in hybrid and it shows in the C-HR

Did you like it?

The Toyota brand's strong presence in Ireland means the C-HR has established itself quickly in the market as an alternative to the familiar family SUV pack. There are more practical crossovers available in this price range but the C-HR is one of the most premium feeling models in the Toyota range, with design and style going some way to justify its positioning in the market. Add in an ultra trendy hybrid powertrain that genuinely delivers good return on economy and you can understand this car's appeal.

The Launch Edition 2.0-litre hybrid has a hefty price tag (€38,515) but there is better value to be had elsewhere in the range, with the C-HR coming well-equipped from entry.

The 1.8-litre hybrid powertrain will suit most motorists, but at Changing Lanes we did enjoy the power and refinement of the C-HR 2.0-litre hybrid. The addition of Apple Car Play and Android Auto is a welcome technology update and the C-HR's cabin still looks stylish and contemporary in 2020 against the competition.

It's very easy to see the appeal of the C-HR from behind the wheel and we enjoyed our time spent with the car. As more hybrids come to market, the sophistication of the hybrid powertrain and Toyota's experience in this area shines through.

Toyota C-HR is a stylish and efficient crossover
Toyota C-HR is a stylish and efficient crossover

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Toyota C-HR Launch Edition
Price: 
€38,515
Engine: 2.0-litre petrol electric hybrid
Power: 
184 hp
Torque: 190 Nm
0-100km/h:  
8.2 seconds
Top speed: 180 km/h
Fuel economy (WLTP): 5.2 l/100km
CO2 emissions (WLTP): 119 g/km
Motor Tax:  €200 per year


The 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser

2021 Toyota Land Cruiser Update

The 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser
The 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser

The Toyota Land Cruiser has been updated for 2021, and will arrive in the brand's Irish dealerships from this October.

Key highlights include a more powerful 2.8-litre diesel engine, new Stop & Start technology for the automatic version, and upgrades to the multimedia system.

On the engine front, the proven four cylinder 2.8-litre diesel engine benefits from an increase in both power and torque. Maximum power output has been increased by 27 hp to 204 hp, and maximum torque has increased by 50 Nm to 500 Nm. When matched to a 6-speed automatic transmission, this gives the Land Cruiser a maximum speed of 175 km/h and lowers its 0-100 km/h acceleration time to 9.9 seconds - an improvement of 3.0 seconds over its predecessor.  These improvements also come with a saving in fuel consumption and CO2 as those models with automatic transmission are now equipped with Stop & Start technology.

Equipment levels have been enhanced for 2021 with an upgraded multimedia system with customisable home view, faster software and screen response, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

Pricing for the updated Toyota Land Cruiser starts from €45,160 including 2% VAT reduction, and from €38,171 excluding VAT.


The 2020 Toyota Yaris!

Toyota Yaris (2020) Arrives In Ireland

The 2020 Toyota Yaris!
The 2020 Toyota Yaris!

Toyota Ireland has confirmed that the new Toyota Yaris has arrived in Ireland!  It goes on sale priced from €19,695.

It will be available in three trim levels -  Aura, Luna and Luna Sport. The range kicks off with a 1.0-litre petrol with 72 hp, while there is also a 1.5-litre petrol manual and a 1.5-litre hybrid auto. Petrol models are available now, with hybrid to join before the end of the year.

The 2020 Toyota Yaris debuts new styling inside and out, promising new tech and better performance. The interior has a more open and spacious feel when compared to the outgoing model. High-quality materials can include an innovative felt trim finish for the door panels and, for the first time in a Yaris, a soft-touch instrument panel to deliver a warmer cabin ambience. Throughout, sensory quality has been a key focus point, in terms of the touch, operation and sound of the controls, colours, illumination, shapes, patterns, graphics and overall appearance. The steering wheel size has also been reduced for better visibility.

The new Yaris is also the first small Toyota to built on the Toyota New Global Architecture. The GA-B platform is central to the car's improved dynamic performance, giving a lower centre of gravity and much greater body rigidity. A range of Toyota Safety Sense active safety systems come as standard, including Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), such as Lane Trace Assist and Emergency Steering Assist.

The new Yaris can be equipped with other convenience features such as LED headlamps, an 8” touchscreen display, keyless entry and special ambient cabin lighting around the driver’s cockpit. The driver’s instrument binnacle can be fitted with twin digital meters flanking the TFT multi-information display. Smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto comes as standard.

The new Toyota Yaris Hybrid uses the latest, fourth-generation Toyota hybrid technology and introduces new components that have been engineered to be compact, lightweight and efficient. For the engineering team, the focus was not just on delivering a more efficient system, but also on making the car more enjoyable to drive, with tuning and calibration to suit all road types.

Toyota says that the car’s all-electric EV capabilities have been transformed and EV driving is possible for longer periods in urban traffic. CO2 emissions have dropped to as low as 88 g/km with the WLTP combined cycle fuel economy figure from 3.9 l per 100 km, which is a 20% improvement compared with the outgoing Yaris hybrid.

Inside the 2020 Toyota Yaris
Inside the 2020 Toyota Yaris

Steve Tormey, Chief Executive of Toyota Ireland, said:

“We’re delighted to announce the launch of the new fourth generation Yaris with the petrol model arriving in Ireland now and the self-charging hybrid variant arriving later in the year. The Yaris has been a pinnacle of driving innovation since it was first launched in 1999. It has gone from strength to strength, not least in winning the WRC in 2018.

Since its arrival in the Irish market in 2012, the Yaris hybrid has performed incredibly well, and despite it being in its 9th year, it’s still the best-selling car in its segment in 2020. The newest generation Yaris has the most efficient hybrid powertrain and is developed on the global TNGA platform. Following on from Akio Toyoda’s “No more boring cars” statement this latest Yaris shows that with an energetic and dynamic design and the latest self-charging hybrid technology this car will be perfect for customers with an eye for design and a desire to make sustainable choices.

We’re delighted to offer an affordable entry to the new generation Yaris with our petrol model which is extremely competitively priced with a fantastic PCP offering, which we will appeal to our younger customers.

The Yaris petrol is available for test drive in your local Toyota dealership now.

The Yaris is on sale in Ireland now priced from €19,655
The Yaris is on sale in Ireland now priced from €19,695

The new Toyota Yaris will be followed by the launch of Toyota's exciting new Toyota Yaris Cross small SUV. It will arrive in Ireland in 2021 and slot below the C-HR and the RAV4 in Toyota's growing SUV range.


The new Toyota Corolla GR Sport is now on sale in Ireland

Toyota Corolla GR Sport Review (2020)

The new Toyota Corolla GR Sport is now on sale in Ireland
The new Toyota Corolla GR Sport is now on sale in Ireland

Caroline drives the new Toyota Corolla GR Sport!

Corolla continues to sell well in Ireland and was one of Ireland's bestselling cars in 2021! The current generation of the evergreen Corolla arrived in Ireland in 2019. The arrival of the latest Corolla was heralded by three new derivatives – hatchback, estate and saloon – with hybrid a key part of the brand’s mission in the compact segment.

The new Corolla has been an indisputable success in Ireland and is the 2020 Continental Tyres Irish Medium Car of the Year. Toyota has recently added a new sport trim line to the Corolla range in Ireland - the Corolla GR Sport, reviewed here with 2.0-litre hybrid engine.

Toyota Ireland has also recently announced a new Corolla-based SUV. The Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid is expected here in late 2022.

What’s so great about the new Toyota Corolla?

Well there are three distinct models all with fuel sipping hybrid powertrains built upon Toyota’s more agile and dynamic TNGA platform. All feature modern interior design and there are even optional two tone paint finishes that take even more years off the Corolla. This car has never looked better. Now Toyota sees even more potential with this car, introducing a sportier hybrid powertrain and new GR Sport trim level, exclusive to the Corolla Hatchback.

It’s wonderful to watch the Corolla explore its new, more fashionable position in the market. It's even better to experience this car from the driver’s seat. I couldn’t quite believe that I was picking up a sporty Corolla. For too long Corolla stood for sensible, reliable transport. But it was hardly a car that you really, really desired to drive, over say a Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf. Now all that has changed.

Toyota has big plans, not least a rumoured full on Corolla GR performance hatchback in the next few years, a follow up to the rapturous Yaris GR. The GR Sport is a trim level where you get sportier visual updates to the car inspired by high performance models. To recap GR stands for the wonderfully named Toyota performance division ‘Gazoo Racing’. The Corolla GR Sport is just the second model to join the European GR Sport line-up following the introduction of the Yaris GR Sport in 2019.

The GR Sport gives a sporty makeover to the Corolla, Ireland's bestselling car
The GR Sport gives a sporty makeover to the Corolla, Ireland's bestselling car

What features does the Corolla GR Sport get?

The Corolla Hatchback range starts from €26,390 in Ireland and now exclusively uses a petrol electric hybrid powertrain. There are two hybrid powertrains to choose from - the 1.8-litre with 122 hp that we tested last year in the Corolla Hatchback - and the more powerful 2.0-litre hybrid with 184 hp tested here in GR Sport specification. This top of the range model has a list price of €36,210. The GR Sport trim level is also available with the 1.8-litre hybrid powertrain. It retails from €32,625 in this configuration.

The GR Sport makeover looks really good on the Corolla. It’s a handsome hatchback anyway but sporty features look genuinely comfortable here. The Toyota Gazoo Racing influence comes in distinctive styling elements like a new honeycomb mesh pattern front grille with piano black surrounds, lower skirts, and sills. At the rear there is a silver insert in the lower bumper, creating the look of twin tailpipes and a diffuser. A black roof comes as standard matched to a choice of five body colours. Wheels are 18” black alloy with a contrasting bright machined finish to the tips of each spoke and red GR centre caps. There is also rear privacy glass and bi-LED headlights. The finishing touches are black backgrounds for the Toyota emblems on the bonnet and boot lid, and official GR badging.

What's it like inside?

Inside the GR Sport has a few bespoke features too. There are lots of soft touch black panel finishes. Red stitching on the gear selector, steering wheel and seats adds a nice contrast. The seats have a sports design with fabric in the centre and leather-effect bolsters. They are comfortable and supportive. The GR Sport also benefits from the same interior technology as the rest of the Corolla range. Infotainment is controlled via a touchscreen that can connect to a smartphone via Bluetooth. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity were added to the Corolla range in 2020.

The interior of the 2020 Toyota Corolla GR Sport
The interior of the 2020 Toyota Corolla GR Sport

There's a new seven-inch colour TFT multi-information screen. Other standard features include Toyota Safety Sense, smart entry, rear privacy glass, automatic wipers, auto-dimming rear-view mirror and power-adjustable door mirrors with an auto-folding function.

The Corolla Hatchback will seat five however the Touring Sports (estate) and Saloon have more legroom because of a longer wheelbase. The rear legroom in the hatchback is on the small side for this class of vehicle, especially if there is a tall driver and front seat passenger! Boot space in the 2.0-litre hybrid models is also slightly compromised because the car’s battery is positioned under the boot floor. The standard Corolla Hatchback has 361 litres of boot space, however the 2.0-litre hybrid has less at 313 litres.

On the road in the Toyota Corolla GR Sport!

Driving the new Corolla GR Sport was an opportunity to experience the brand’s new 2.0-litre hybrid powertrain. There’s more power and torque than in the standard 1.8-litre version. It has been engineered to be more responsive and fun to drive. This is all while still retaining a low emission hybrid powertrain.

Immediately the hybrid engine impressed me. It feels faster, more robust, smoother and more mature in drive. Power delivery is on the pedal responsive and with 184 hp, the Corolla 2.0-litre can really take off. The Corolla is a much improved car dynamically. I enjoyed the more powerful set-up in this car with smoother CVT automatic operation. Paddle shift gear changes are also possible. Over a week of driving my average fuel consumption was 7.1 litres per 100 km, while motor tax is just €180 per year.

My verdict on this car is two fold as I’m essentially reviewing two things – the GR Sport spec additions and the 2.0-litre hybrid powertrain.

Last year I performed a number of test drives with the Corolla 1.8 litre and for many people this engine will suffice. It is the one to go for if you are genuinely looking for a fuel sipping car to save on fuel costs as time and time again it returned great economy for me. The 2.0-litre hybrid is more powerful and fun to drive. It feels like a more grown up affair yet fuel consumption does suffer a bit with the more performance bias of the design.

The Toyota Corolla GR Sport explores Corolla's sporty new character
The Toyota Corolla GR Sport explores Corolla's sporty new character

I think the GR Sport is a wonderful addition to the range. I adore the sporty look of this Corolla.

Corolla has grown up and got some street cred. The GR Sport explores the Corolla’s cool new character even more!

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Toyota Corolla GR Sport 2.0-litre Hybrid
Price: 
€36,210 (from €32,625)
Engine: 2.0-litre petrol electric hybrid
Power: 
184 hp
Torque: 190 Nm
0-100km/h:  
7.9 seconds
Top speed: 180 km/h
Fuel consumption (WLTP): 
5.3 l/100km
CO2 emissions (WLTP):
120 g/km
Motor Tax: €180 per year


The new Toyota Highlander 7 seater SUV!

Toyota Highlander 7 Seater SUV For Ireland

The new Toyota Highlander 7 seater SUV!
The new Toyota Highlander 7 seater SUV!

Toyota Ireland has confirmed that the new Toyota Highlander will go on sale in Ireland in 2021.

The Highlander has been available in some other global markets but in Ireland and Europe, this will be the first time the 7 seater SUV officially goes on sale.

In Ireland it will be the brand's first 7 seat hybrid SUV. It will be powered by the same 2.5-litre petrol electric powertrain as the five seat Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, putting out 244 hp in the Highlander. It is built on the TNGA-K platform, which also underpins the new Camry. Front and rear electric motors equip the Highlander with all wheel drive and a 2-tonne towing capacity. Driving modes will include ECO, NORMAL, SPORT and TRAIL. CO2 emissions are quoted at 146 g/km, with fuel consumption of 6.6 litres per 100km (WLTP).

Versatile 7 Seater SUV

Toyota promises a genuine 7 seater with spacious third row accommodation for two adults. Sliding seats in row 2 offer extra versatility. The power tailgate opens to reveal 658 litres of boot space with additional underfloor storage.

Equipment will include an 8" centre console multimedia display with satellite navigation, a head-up display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a JBL sound system, wireless phone charging, seat ventilation and a digital rear-view mirror, which uses a camera to display a wide rear image without the interruption from headrests or passengers.

The Highlander's Toyota Safety Sense package includes Pre-Collision System (PCS) with active steer assist to avoid collision, pedestrian detection day and night, and bicycle detection during the day, Full Range Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), with Road Sign Assist (RSA), Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), Lane Departure Alert (LDA), and Automatic High Beam (AHB).

Flagship Hybrid SUV from Toyota

Toyota has invested in acoustic windscreen and front glazing, as well as other sound proofing measures such as roof, dash and floor silencers, and wheel arch and load-space liners. According to Toyota, the Highlander's GA-K platform is complemented by a lightweight and high-rigidity body shell and its low centre-of-gravity promotes nimble handling and comfortable motorway cruising.

Commenting on the launch of the new Highlander, Steve Tormey, Chief Executive of Toyota Ireland commented:

We are delighted to announce the launch of the new 7-Seater Highlander. The arrival of the purely self-charging SUV hybrid will offer families a comfortable and spacious way to travel whilst being eco-friendly, benefiting from lower CO2 and NOX emissions from hybrid technology, and of course excellent fuel efficiency. The Highlander is a strong addition Toyota’s range and builds on Toyota’s SUV heritage with no compromise on performance, comfort or styleWe look forward to the arrival of the first ever 7-seater hybrid SUV in 2021 as we continue to offer customers new models that contribute to cleaner air and a better environment for Irish families."

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid will go on sale in Ireland in the first half of 2021. Pricing for the range in Ireland and specifications will be announced closer to launch. Customers can register their interest in the 7-Seater Highlander Hybrid SUV on the Toyota Ireland website.

The Highlander will join Toyota's expanding line-up of SUVs, including the recently revealed Yaris Cross, C-HR, RAV4 and Land Cruiser. In other news, a new Yaris is expected in Ireland before the end of the year, as is a RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid. Toyota retains a strong market share in Ireland, with the Corolla currently Ireland's bestselling car.


Toyota's new compact SUV, the Yaris Cross, is expected in 2021

Toyota Yaris Cross Revealed (2020)

The new Toyota Yaris Cross!
The new Toyota Yaris Cross!

Toyota has revealed the first images of a new compact SUV that will slot in below the C-HR and RAV4 in the Toyota SUV range. In an online presentation to international media, the new Toyota Yaris Cross received its world premiere. The event had originally been planned for the 2020 Geneva Motor Show, which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new Toyota Yaris Cross is a spin-off of the popular Yaris supermini. It will enter a new segment for Toyota, the popular B-SUV segment alongside the likes of the Volkswagen T-Cross, Nissan Juke and Renault Captur. A source from Toyota Ireland has confirmed that it will be sold exclusively as a hybrid when it arrives in Ireland in 2021. The brand are confident that it will "strike a chord with savvy Irish buyers who want an environmentally-friendly car without sacrificing performance".

What's so special about the Toyota Yaris Cross?

The new small Yaris SUV is the latest model to debut on Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) and has been designed and engineered in Europe. It will be manufactured in France. Built on Toyota’s new GA-B vehicle platform, the brand claims a high level of body rigidity and a well-balanced chassis will make the car responsive and agile.

In what is unusual in the B-segment, all wheel drive is also available, making the new Yaris Cross "a genuine SUV". A raised ride height and plastic cladding reinforce its SUV character. The design has clearly been inspired by the new generation RAV4 that was launched in Ireland in 2019. Wheel size of up to 18" will fit in those large squared off wheel arches. Yaris Cross has the same 2,560 mm wheelbase as the new Yaris hatchback, but is 240 mm longer overall, with 60 mm added to the front overhang and 180 mm to the rear, securing more interior space. The ground clearance is 30 mm higher and the vehicle is taller and wider overall – by 90 and 20 mm respectively.

Features include an electric tailgate and an adjustable deck height to give the flexibility of either a secure underfloor compartment or increased boot space for larger loads. The deck board itself can be split in two, giving customers both increased space and an underfloor storage area. A new flex belt system can be added to help secure items while driving. The boot volume will be 390 litres.

Inside the Yaris Cross
Inside the Yaris Cross

Toyota's new hybrid small SUV!

The new Toyota Yaris Cross will use the fourth generation of Toyota's hybrid technology. This is not the first time the brand has created a small hybrid, as the Yaris debuted this technology in 2012. Since then, more than half a million have been sold in Europe. Along with the new Yaris supermini due in Ireland before the end of 2020, the new Yaris crossover debuts Toyota’s latest 1.5-litre petrol electric hybrid system.

This new powertrain has been derived from the larger 2.0 and 2.5-litre powertrains in the Corolla, C-HR, RAV4 and Camry. It uses a new 1.5-litre, three-cylinder Atkinson-cycle petrol engine, precision-engineered to reduce friction and mechanical losses and optimise combustion speed. The result is high torque at low engine speeds and claimed excellent fuel efficiency. The engine’s thermal efficiency is rated at 40%, which we are told is greater than comparable diesel engines and ensures strong fuel economy and low CO2 emissions. Power will be output at 116 hp, with special attention given by engineers to power delivery, making the system very responsive to drive.

Anything else?

The new Toyota Yaris Cross is already claiming best in class fuel efficiency and emissions when it goes on sale in 2021. Toyota says the front-wheel drive model starts from below 90 g/km CO2 and the AWD-i version from below 100 g/km.

Toyota Safety Sense active safety systems and advanced driver assistance functions will also feature, helping to avoid a wide range of common accident risks through driver information, early warnings and, when necessary, automatic braking and steering intervention.

The launch colour is Brass Gold.

Commenting on the launch of the new Yaris Cross, Steve Tormey, Chief Executive of Toyota Ireland commented: 

We are delighted to announce the launch of the new Yaris Cross. This is a vibrant and stylish new model to add to the range, and it will suit our customers who are sophisticated and energetic. It combines small car design with SUV engineering, and with our rich heritage in SUV cars customers can expect practicality delivered with comfort and style. We are launching the Yaris Cross exclusively as a self-charging hybrid and it will have the latest and most efficient hybrid technology. So customers can benefit from lower NOX and CO2 emissions with excellent fuel efficiency. It’s another example of “no more boring cars” from Toyota and we are looking forward to the arrival of this car in the second half of 2021.”

Adding Yaris Cross to the line-up will give Toyota an SUV range that spans the B, C and D segments. The Toyota C-HR has been a great success in Ireland, while the RAV4 remains popular in the large SUV segment. The Corolla is still the bestselling Toyota in Ireland, now available as a hatchback, saloon and estate. In fact it's Ireland's bestselling car. The Yaris remains popular in the supermini segment and should be bolstered by the arrival of an all-new generation Yaris Hybrid before the end of the year. Expect the Yaris Cross to mount a serious challenge in the B-SUV segment in 2021.

The Yaris Cross is due in Ireland in the second half of 2021
The Yaris Cross is due in Ireland in the second half of 2021

The new Toyota RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid

Toyota RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid For Ireland

The new Toyota RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid
The new Toyota RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid

Toyota Ireland is to introduce a new plug-in hybrid version of the new RAV4 before the end of the year.

Pricing of the new Toyota RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid will be confirmed closer to launch but the brand has already informed us that they will have a limited supply of this new model arriving in Ireland towards the end of 2020 and expect the 2021 allocation to be mostly pre-sold before the end of 2020.

In 2019, the brand introduced an all-new generation of the popular RAV4 SUV. For Ireland, the new Toyota RAV4 has been sold exclusively as a self-charging hybrid. However come the end of 2020, buyers will also be able to opt for a plug-in hybrid version offering drivers more flexibility with the ability to plug-in, charge and drive on pure electric power for a claimed 64 km.

Toyota already offers a Prius Plug-in Hybrid in Ireland.

More power and super low emissions for the RAV4

The new RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid will use the same 2.5-litre petrol electric hybrid but a new, high-capacity lithium-ion battery and an enhanced boost converter to the hybrid system’s power control unit will give full system output of 306 hp. Toyota says it has the potential to deliver acceleration from rest to 100 km/h in just 6.2 seconds. Toyota’s pre-homologation, WLTP-standard data indicates CO2 output for this new model of less than 29g/km.

It's built on Toyota’s GA-K platform and according to the brand there will be added dynamic benefit by locating the hybrid battery beneath the floor. It is also equipped as standard with all-wheel drive. There will be four driving modes and the driver can switch from hybrid to pure EV driving. Speeds up to 135 km/h can be reached without any intervention of the internal combustion engine, even under full acceleration.

The interior of the new RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid
The interior of the new RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid

New design features

Styling updates include dark plating for the dedicated grille mesh and frame and headlight extensions, together with a new metallic finish on the lower bumper moulding. New 18 and 19-inch wheel designs combine contrasting bright machined and grey or black finishes, while at the rear there is a metal-like finish for the garnish beneath the screen and black plating for the under-run.

In the cabin the focus is on new upholstery designs with a sporty feel, with ribbed patterns with contrast red detailing. The centre console features a nine-inch multimedia touchscreen display – the largest in any RAV4 model – for clear and easy control of the car’s entertainment, information and connectivity functions.

Some of the equipment available on the new RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid range will include 19-inch alloy wheels, heated front and rear seats, a 230 V power outlet in the cabin, a bi-tone exterior paint finish, power tailgate, nine-inch display audio system and the latest Toyota multimedia package with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration.

Commenting on the new RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid, Steve Tormey, Toyota Ireland CEO said:

“We’re delighted to offer another electrified option for customers, further cementing our leadership in the drive to a full zero emissions society. Toyota are constantly innovating and this best-in-class plug-in hybrid will be an excellent option for customers looking to further extend their electrified driving. The RAV4 is one of our most popular models and it was a runaway success in 2019, with the majority of our dealers selling out of their allocation by midyear 2019, and we are expecting a lot of customer demand for this model in 2020. The launch of the plug-in RAV4 also is a clear demonstration of our Built For A Better World brand promise, to make life better for Irish families, by contributing to  cleaner environment and better air quality for all.”


The new Toyota Camry Hybrid

Toyota Camry Review

The new Toyota Camry Hybrid
The new Toyota Camry Hybrid

Caroline drives the new Toyota Camry Hybrid!

The Toyota Camry is the unlikely legend of the Toyota brand – it’s the classic big Toyota saloon that actually disappeared from Europe in 2014. But it appears in the interim the Camry built up some sort of mythical status because the reaction to the car’s comeback in Ireland in 2019 has been nothing short of astounding. Who knew there were so many closet Camry fans?

The Camry is now a very on trend fuel-sipping hybrid and is playing a key part in the renaissance of the Toyota brand in Europe, featuring the latest in Toyota technology and design upon Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA).

Priced from €39,750 in Ireland, the Toyota Camry is a big barge. The new car has so much presence with a long, lean body and wide front end. From the driver’s seat it feels even better - you can see that big bonnet in front of you, giving the Camry driver a ‘king of the road’ feel!

The interior of the 2019 Toyota Camry
The interior of the 2019 Toyota Camry

Inside the 2019 Toyota Camry

So naturally I really enjoyed my time behind the wheel of the Camry. The interior is large and comfortable with lots of equipment included as standard: Toyota’s Safety Sense including automatic high beam, adaptive cruise control and lane departure alert with steering control, LED lights, smart entry, rear privacy glass, power retractable heated door mirrors, rear view camera and dual zone climate control.

The bestselling Hybrid Sol grade test car comes with leather upholstery, heated front seats and satellite navigation. The car is resolutely made – no rattles in this interior. The fit and finish is confidence inspiring. There’s plenty of soft-touch padding, leather, and wood-like grain mouldings but the vibe is more retro than cutting edge. The graphics on the central touchscreen are a little bland and there is no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, but I was so comfortable I kind of didn’t care!

Though the roofline is quite low, both the cabin floor and the front and rear passenger seat hip point heights have also been set as low as possible to ensure a spacious interior and lower the centre of gravity. Cabin space is really good. The footwells in the rear are large and a flat transmission tunnel means it’s no bad place for the middle passenger either. The boot is very large at 524 litres but the saloon opening restricts access somewhat.

The Toyota Camry Hybrid is on sale in Ireland priced from €39,750
The Toyota Camry Hybrid is on sale in Ireland priced from €39,750

How good is that hybrid?

The new Camry uses the 2.5-litre petrol electric hybrid powertrain with 218 hp available and power driven through the front wheels using a CVT automatic gearbox. I’ve had one or two gripes about the refinement of this set up in the RAV4, but no such issues here – the new Toyota Camry is remarkably smooth and refined. It’s a pure joy to drive. Acceleration is brisk and power delivery nigh on seamless. The new Camry can definitely bring it to premium rivals based on comfort, refinement and insulation. Driving dynamics are neat, rather than sporty.

It is also truly efficient. Motor tax is just €190 per year and over five days of driving my fuel consumption averaged at 4.9l/100km.

I really didn’t expect to enjoy the Camry as much as I did, but I immediately felt at home in it. It’s rock solid, smooth and comfortable with classic big car refinement. Toyota seem to have saved their best iteration of the hybrid powertrain for the Camry – it works exceptionally well here and is very efficient for a large car also. The Camry interior features the latest safety and infotainment features, however it does not feel cutting edge. In fact it has a distinct 90’s retro vibe! It might not be for you, but for me those old school values are shockingly reassuring in this crazy world. Amen to Camry!

The Toyota Camry merges a super efficient hybrid powertrain with classic big car comfort and refinement
The Toyota Camry merges a super efficient hybrid powertrain with classic big car comfort and refinement

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Toyota Camry Hybrid Sol
Price:
€40,750 (Range from €39,750)
Engine: 2.5-litre petrol electric hybrid
Power: 
218 hp
Torque: 221 Nm (engine only)
0-100km/h: 
8.3 seconds
Top speed: 180 km/h
Fuel economy:
4.3 l/100km
CO2 emissions:
101 g/km
Motor tax: 
€190 per year

 


The new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Review

The new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
The new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Read Caroline's Toyota RAV4 Hybrid review for everything you need to know about buying Toyota's popular hybrid SUV in Ireland.

What's so special about the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid?

The renaissance underway at Toyota continues in the SUV class. Not only has the brand ditched diesel power from the RAV4 line-up - and indeed the rest of their passenger car range in favour of hybrid - but there’s also a new platform that promises better driving dynamics.

The Toyota RAV4 was the original ‘Sports Utility Vehicle’ (SUV). Now in its fifth generation, Toyota has reinvented the RAV4 upon the exciting new TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture). In Ireland the new Toyota RAV4 is powered by a 2.5-litre hybrid powertrain so from herein, it shall be known as the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid!

Priced from €35,900, the new RAV4 Hybrid has a stylish new look. It is a car transformed in styling terms. It is an altogether leaner and more angular SUV than the model it replaces, with more than a hint of the utilitarian design of the larger Landcruiser. It has an identity! In Ireland, 17” alloys and LED headlamps come as standard, while Sport models are available with a bi-tone paint option.

The new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is available from €35,900
The new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is available from €35,900

Inside the RAV4

Inside there is a new interior that has stepped up in terms of quality and design. The dashboard has a clean horizontal design with soft touch materials and satin chrome features. There is a more ‘rugged’ feeling to the cabin of the RAV4 than say the new interiors of the Corolla family, with some large knobs to twist for the ventilation controls. It’s a marked improvement on the old car but it’s not the most stylish of the class. There is an 8” touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard, but the absence of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is a frustration.

However for buyers looking for a spacious family SUV, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid really does deliver. The new car has a longer wheelbase to create more interior space and there is generous seating in the rear for three with a flat floor. The opening angle of the rear doors has been increased so getting into and out of the vehicle and access to child seats has been made easier. The boot is also now a very generous 542 litres with a wide opening making it a practical space to work with. There is a height-adjustable, two-level deck board that can be reversed when dirty items need to be carried. The rear seats have a 60:40 split-folding function and there are storage nets on each side of the boot.

The interior of the new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
The interior of the new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Equipment and specifications

Toyota Ireland is selling the new RAV4 in five grades: Aura, Luna, Sol, Sport and Platinum. Standard features on Aura models (from €35,900) will include 17” alloys, LED lights front and rear, dual exhaust tailpipes, black roof rails, electric parking brake, automatic lights, 7” multimedia system, dual zone climate control with rear vents, folding mirrors, driving mode selector and rear view camera. Toyota Safety Sense 2 is also standard, adding safety equipment such as automatic high beam, driver attention alert, eCall emergency call system, adaptive cruise control, pre-collision system with pedestrian and cyclist detection, road sign assist and lane trace assist.

The Luna model (from €37,590) will add dark grey painted upper front grille, silver front underrun, chrome interior trim, auto wipers, power tailgate, Smart Entry & Start, 8” multimedia system, front fog lamps, and front and rear parking sensors.

The Sol (from €39,590) adds 18” alloys, rear privacy glass, heated front seats, leather upholstery and satellite navigation.

Sport (from €42,240) adds 18” machine-finished alloy wheels, bitone roof, projector LED headlamps, painted lower bumpers and mouldings, painted front fog lamp surrounds, unique sport leather upholstery, black headlining, driver’s electric seat adjustment and lumbar support, and paddle gear shift.

Platinum (from €43,000) features include 18” alloy wheels, blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, chrome outer door handles, leather seats, grey headlining, memory driver seat adjustment, luggage net and heated steering wheel.

Rear legroom in the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
Rear legroom in the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Driving the RAV4 Hybrid

The 2019 RAV4 has a new, improved 2.5-litre petrol electric hybrid powertrain with more power and greater efficiency. Front wheel drive models now have 218hp, while all wheel drive models have 222hp. Power is put to the road through a CVT automatic gearbox.

Toyota has also done much with the new platform to improve the driving experience. The new RAV4 has a more rigid body and lower centre of gravity with every component lighter and located lower down in the vehicle for improved comfort and driving dynamics. The response from the electric power steering has also been improved.

On the road, the new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid immediately feels more natural and balanced, handling confidently through corners with more fluid steering. It falls short of being one of the more engaging cars to drive in its class, but it's a pleasant and competent drive. You sit high in the RAV4 and the driving position has been improved so you feel "more at one with the car". It's comfortable over Irish roads and properly efficient now that Toyota has ditched diesel. Over a week of driving my fuel consumption averaged at 5.8l/100km, which is very good considering this is a large SUV! The only bugbear is the refinement of the vehicle with some wind whistle around the wing mirrors at high speeds on the motorway and the CVT transmission can get quite noisy when you accelerate hard, working better when gentle throttle is applied.

Toyota has transformed the RAV4 Hybrid into a stylish and contemporary SUV. The RAV4 Hybrid is a spacious SUV with a real individual and rugged look. With the absence of a diesel model, it's competing in a higher price bracket where standards are high. Inside there's a much improved interior, even if it is missing some sophistication. The efficiency of the vehicle is most surprising as Toyota has really delivered on creating a desirable and efficient hybrid large family SUV. The RAV4 Hybrid is a car you would be proud to see on your driveway!

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is a stylish, spacious and efficient large family SUV!
The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is a stylish, spacious and efficient large family SUV!

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Sol
Price:
€39,590 (range from €35,900)
Engine: 2.5-litre petrol electric hybrid
Power: 
218 hp
Torque: 202 Nm
0-100km/h:
8.4 seconds
Top speed: 180 km/h
Fuel economy:
4.5 l/100km
CO2 emissions: 
105 g/km
Motor tax: 
€190 per year


The new Toyota Corolla Saloon

Toyota Corolla Saloon Review

The new Toyota Corolla Saloon
The new Toyota Corolla Saloon

Thinking of buying a new Toyota Corolla Saloon in Ireland? Read Caroline's latest review for a definitive verdict on this classic.

What's so special about the Toyota Corolla Saloon?

It’s fair to say that the Toyota Corolla Saloon is one of Ireland’s best loved cars. But even legends like the Corolla saloon have to move with the times. Indeed, there’s something of a revolution going on at Toyota since Toyota Global President, Akio Toyoda, declared “no more boring cars!” from the brand. At that means you too, Corolla!

The revolution is partly down to Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) that is underpinning a whole new generation of models including the RAV4, Camry and Corolla.

There’s also been a little housekeeping going on at Toyota. The Toyota Auris name has now been discontinued. Instead a new family of compact models - a hatchback, estate and saloon – will all wear the Corolla badge.

The new Corolla Saloon also debuts a hybrid powertrain for the first time, which is good news for Irish buyers. Toyota’s 1.8-litre hybrid powertrain has been significantly revised and improved to make for a smoother and more efficient drive.

The Toyota Corolla Saloon is available from €25,685
The Toyota Corolla Saloon is available from €25,685

What's new for the Corolla Saloon?

In looks alone, this new Corolla Saloon is a handsome beast with a wide and low stance. At the front the styling is a small bit different to the hatchback and estate with a unique LED light signature, while around the rear it’s as sharp as a Samurai sword!

Inside the Toyota Corolla has an all new interior with improvements in design, quality and technology. There are plenty of soft touch materials and a number of technology features including the digital instrument panel and central touchscreen for the infotainment. However the absence of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto from the main touchscreen is a bit disappointing.

The new Toyota Corolla Saloon is priced from €25,685 with a 1.6-litre petrol engine, while the hybrid is available from €26,820. There are four trim levels - Aura, Luna, Luna Sport and Sol - with standard equipment including 16” alloys, LED headlamps/fog lamps, 8” Toyota Touch, rear view camera, dual zone climate control, and Toyota Safety Sense with adaptive cruise control and lane trace assist.

My test car was a Luna Sport Hybrid with a list price of €29,995. Equipment included 17” alloys, chrome window frame, rear privacy glass, rain sensor, Smart Entry & Start, navigation, textured chrome inserts to the interior, grey lower dashboard, ambient lighting, heated front seats and driver lumbar support.

The boon for the Corolla Saloon is that it sits on a longer wheelbase than the hatchback. That means that it is generously sized in the rear for carrying passengers. The car feels spacious and airy for its class. At 471 litres, the boot is only outsized by the Corolla Touring Sports and the opening is wide enough for a saloon also making the space more usable.

The interior of the new Toyota Corolla Saloon
The interior of the new Toyota Corolla Saloon

Driving the Toyota Corolla Saloon

On the road the longer wheelbase also pays dividends for comfort. It’s no exaggeration to say that the Corolla Saloon is very comfortable and relaxing to drive. The hybrid powertrain has 122hp and offers smooth power delivery and decent acceleration. Give it too much throttle and the CVT gearbox does protest with more transmission whine, but at a relaxed pace, this car just wafts along effortlessly. It handles and steers with ease also. Over a few days of driving my fuel consumption averaged at 4.9l/100km while motor tax is €180 per year.

The new Toyota Corolla Saloon is the more classic and traditional member of the new Corolla family, but it feels much more modern and sophisticated than the car it replaces. A sharp new look for the outside and a new interior bring the Corolla Saloon into a new era, but the traditional Corolla values of comfort and space remain.

The Corolla Saloon is the one for ‘big car’ comfort and refinement, now with hybrid power and efficiency!

The Toyota Corolla Saloon scores for comfort and space
The Toyota Corolla Saloon scores for comfort and space

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Toyota Corolla Saloon Hybrid Luna Sport
Price:
€29,995 (range from €25,685)
Engine: 1.8-litre petrol electric hybrid
Power: 
122 hp
Torque: 200 Nm
0-100km/h: 
11 seconds
Top speed: 180 km/h
Fuel economy:
4.3 l/100km
CO2 emissions: 
98 g/km
Motor tax: 
€180 per year